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Enchancement the right food we eat. Thay what I wanted to share also the key to health and freedom of business opportunity.
The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. Scolymus), also known by the names French artichoke and green artichoke in the U.S., is a variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food.
The edible portion of the plant consist of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. The budding artichoke flower-head is a cluster of many budding small flowers (an inflorescene), together with many bracts, on an edible base. Once the buds bloom, the structure changes to a course barely edible form.
Another variety of the same species is the cardoon, a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region. Both wild forms and cultivated varieties (cultivars) exist.
INCREDIBLE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ARTICHOKES THAT YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN
● The globe artichoke is one of the most versatile foods.
● Artichokes are known to detoxify body
● Artichokes may also improve heart, liver health and aid digestive issues
The globe artichoke is one of the most versatile foods you will find in the food world. Artichoke is a variety of thistle that is cultivated for food. Artichokes scientific classification is Cyanara cardunculus; it is an important part of the Mediterranean cuisine and is grown all over Europe, America and the Middle Eastern countries.
This spiky member of the thistle family produces edible globes various hues and sizes, which are known for their amazing nutritional properties. Having said that, including artichoke in diet may have many health benefits, including strengthening of immune system, maintaining cholesterol levels, and protecting against many diseases. Moreover, artichoke are known to detoxify body, and they may also improve liver health and aid digestive issues.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ARTICHOKES
Artichokes are rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, which are know to enhance our heart health. Moreover, the leaves of Artichoke are known to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the levels of good cholesterol ((HDL or omega-3 fatty acids).
Bad cholesterol generally builds up in the arteries of the cardiovascular system, which blocks the blood flow that may lead to fatal heart diseases. The fibre present in artichoke contributions to the health of blood vessels and arteries.
■ IMPROVES LIVER HEALTH
We all know that eating healthy can be a treat for our liver. Since it is the largest organ in our body, with many functions to perform such as strong energy, digesting food and removing toxins from the body, it is imperative to keep it healthy.
Two antioxidants found in artichoke, cynarin and silymarin, have been shown to improve the overall health of the liver by reducing the presence of toxins and facilitating their elimination from the liver and the body. Moreover, the phenols and acids present in artichokes act as stimulators, which help expel harmful toxins from the body and also promote the production of bile.
Artichokes are a rich source of dietary fibre, which helps the functionality of our digestive system. The fibre adds bulk to the stool, which keeps our bowel movements regular and further, decreases the symptoms of constipation. Moreover, artichoke are known to pacify inflamed gallbladders
■ REGULATES BLOOD PRESSURE
Artichokes are a rich source of potassium, which helps to neutralize the effects of excess sodium, which is known to be the culprit behind high blood pressure. Potassium in artichokes replaces electrolytes and offsets the the negative effects of sodium. Even diabetics are also encouraged to include artichokes in their diet, which can prevent the complications associated with blood pressure.
■ MAY HELP TREAT HANGOVER
Now, this is interesting, right? As we now know that artichokes have a positive effect on liver, therefore, it may help treat hangovers too. Artichokes can reduce the levels of toxins in the blood by eliminating them quickly. Some people choose to chew on a few artichoke leaves after a night of heavy drinking.
Now, that you know the benefits of adding artichokes to your diet, what are you waiting for? Pick a few of these wonder delights right away.
Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea) are a legume that originated in South America. The peanut, also known as the ground nut, goober, or monkey nut (UK), and taxonomically classified as Arachis hypogaea, is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. It is widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, being important to both small and large commercial producers.
It is classified as both grain legume and, due to its high oil content, an oil crop. World annual production of shelled peanuts was 44 million tonnes in 2016, led by China with 38% of the world total. A typically among legume crop plants, peanut pods develop underground (geocarpy) rather than above ground. With this characteristics in mind, the botanist Carl Linnaeus named the species hypogaea, which means “under the earth”.
As a legume, the peanut belongs to the botanical family Fabaceae; this is also known as Leguminosae, and commonly known as the bean, or pea, family. Like most other legumes, peanuts harbor symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in root nodules. This capacity to fix nitrogen means peanuts requires less nitrogen-containing fertilizer and also improve soil fertility, making them valuable in crop rotations.
Peanuts are similar in taste and nutritional profile to tree nuts such as walnuts and almonds, and as a culinary nut are often served in similar ways in Western cuisines. The botanical definition of a “nut” is a fruit whose ovary wall becomes hard and maturity. Using this criterion, the peanut is not a typical nut. However, for culinary purposes and in common English language usage, peanuts are usually referred to as nuts.
In the United States, peanuts are rarely eaten raw. Instead, they are most often consumed roasted or as peanut butter.
Other peanut products include peanut oil, flour, and protein. These goods are used in a variety of foods, such as desserts, cakes, confectionery, snacks, and sauces.
Peanuts are rich in protein, fat, and various healthy nutrients. Studies show that peanuts may even be useful for weight loss and are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Here are the nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw peanuts:
●Protein: 25.8 grams
●Carbs: 16.1 grams
●Sugar: 4.7 grams
●Fiber: 8.5 grams
●Fat: 49.2 grams
°Saturated: 6.28 grams
°Monounsaturated: 24.43 grams
°Polyunsaturated: 15.56 grams
°Omega-3: 0 gram
°Omega-6: 15.56 grams
°Trans: 0 gram
Peanuts are packed with healthy fats and high-quality protein. They’re also fairly high in calories.
FAT IN PEANUTS
Peanuts are high in fat. In fact, they are classified as oilseeds. A large proportion of the world’s peanut harvest is used for making peanut oil (arachis oil).
The fat content ranges from 44-56% and mainly consist of momo – and polyunsaturated fat, most of which is made up of oleic and linoleic acids.
Peanuts are high in fat, consisting mostly of mono – and polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are often used to make peanut oil.
Peanuts are a good source of protein. The protein content ranges from 22-30% of its total calories, making peanuts a great source of plant-based protein.
The most abundant proteins in peanuts, arachin and conarachin, can be severely allergenic to some people, causing life-threatening reactions.
For a plant food, peanuts are an exceptionally good source of protein. Keep in mind that some people are allergic to peanut protein.
Peanuts are low in carbs. In fact, the carb content is only 13 – 16% of the total weight. Being low in carbs and high in protein, fat, and fiber, peanuts have a very low glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how quickly carbs enter your bloodstream after a meal.
This makes them suitable for people with diabetes.
Peanuts are low in carbs. This makes them a good dietary choice for people with diabetes.
VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Peanuts are an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals including:
●Biotin. Peanuts are one of the richest dietary sources of biotin, which is important during pregnancy.
●Copper. A dietary trace mineral, Copper is often low in the Western diet. Deficiency may have adverse effects on heart health.
●Niacin. Also known as vitamin B3, niacin has various important functions in your body. It has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
●Folate. Also known as vitamin B9 or folic acid, folate has many essential functions and is especially important during pregnancy.
●Manganese. A trace element, Manganese is found in drinking water and most foods.
●Thiamine. One of the B vitamins, Thiamine is also known as vitamin B1. It helps your bodys cells convert carbs into energy and is essential for the function of your heart, muscles, and nervous system.
●Phosphorus. Peanuts are a good source of Phosphorus, a mineral that plays an essential role in the growth and maintenance of body tissues.
●Magnesium. An essential dietary mineral with various important functions, sufficient Magnesium intake is believed to protect against heart disease.
Peanuts are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals. These include biotin, copper, niacin, folate, manganese, vitamin E, thiamine, phosphorus, and magnesium.
OTHER PLANT COMPOUNDS
Peanuts contain various bioactive plant compounds and antioxidants. In fact, they’re as rich in antioxidants as many fruits.
Most of the antioxidants are located in peanut skin, which eaten only when peanut are raw.
That said, peanut kernels still include:
●p-Coumaric acid. This polyphenols is one of the main antioxidants in peanuts.
●Resveratrol. A powerful antioxidant that may reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, Resveratrol is most notably found in red wine.
●Isoflavones. A class of antioxidant polyphenols, Isoflavones are associated with a variety of health effects.
●Phytic acid. Found in plant seeds, including nuts, phytic acid may impair the absorption of iron and zinc from peanuts and other foods eaten at the same time.
●Phytosterols. Peanuts oil contains considerable amounts of phytosterols, which impair the absorption of cholesterol from your digestive tract.
Peanuts contain various plant compounds. These include antioxidants, such as coumaric acid and resveratrol, as well as antinutrients like phytic acid.
Peanuts have been widely studied with regard to weight maintenance. Despite being high in fat and calories, peanut do not appear to contribute to weight loss.
In fact, observational studies have shown that peanuts consumption may help maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of obesity. These studies are all observational, which means that they cannot prove causation.
However, one small, 6-month study in healthy women suggested that when other sources of fat in a low-fat diet were replaced with peanuts, they lost 6.6 pounds (3 kg) despite being told to maintain their initial weight.
Another study found that when 3 ounces (89 grams) of peanuts were added to the daily diet of healthy adults for 8 weeks, they did not gain as much weight as expected.
Various factors make peanuts a weight-loss-friendly food:
● They reduce food intake by promoting fullness to a greater extent than other common snack, such as rice cakes.
● Because of how filling peanuts are, people appear to compensate for increased peanuts consumption by eating less of other foods.
● When whole peanuts are not chewed well enough, a portion of them may pass through the digestive system without being absorbed.
● The high content of protein and monounsaturated fat in peanuts may increase calorie burning.
● Peanuts are source of insoluble dietary fiber, which is linked to a reduced risk of weight gain.
Peanuts are very filling and can be considered an effective component of a weight loss diet.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS OF PEANUTS
In addition to being a weight-loss-friendly food, peanuts are associated with several other health benefits.
■ HEART HEALTH
Hearts disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Observational studies indicate that eating peanuts, as well as other types of nuts, may protect against heart disease.
These benefits are likely the result of various factors. Notably, peanuts contain a number of heart-healthy nutrients. These include magnesium, niacin, copper, oleic acid, and multiple antioxidants, such as resveratrol.
■ GALLSTONES PREVENTION
Gallstones affect approximately 10 -25% of adults in the United States. Two observational studies suggest that frequent peanuts consumption may cut the risk of Gallstones in both men and women.
As most gallstones are largely composed of cholesterol, the cholesterol-lowering effect of peanuts may be the cause. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.
As a source of many heart-healthy nutrients, peanuts may help prevent heart disease. What’s more, they may cut your risk of gallstones.
ADVERSE EFFECTS AND INDIVIDUAL CONCERNS
Aside from allergies, eating peanuts has not been linked to many adverse effects.
Still, there are some health concerns to consider.
Peanuts can sometimes be contaminated with a species of molds (Aspergillus flavus) that produces aflatoxin.
The main symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning include loss of appetite and yellow discoloration of the eyes (jaundice), which are typical signs of liver problems.
Serious aflatoxin poisoning can lead failure and liver cancer. The risk of aflatoxin contamination depends on how peanuts are stored. The risk increases with warm and humidity conditions, especially in the tropics.
Aflatoxin contamination can be effectively prevented by properly drying peanuts after harvesting and keeping temperature and humidity low during storage.
Peanuts contain a number of antinutrients, which are substances that impair your absorption of nutrients and reduce nutritional value.
Of the antinutrients in peanuts, phytic acid is particularly noteworthy. Phytic acid (phytate) is found in all edible seeds, nuts, grains, and legumes. In peanuts, it ranges from 0.2-4.5%.
Phytic acid reduces the availability of iron and zinc in peanuts, lowering their nutritional value slightly.
This is usually not a concern in well-balanced diets and among those who eat meat regularly. Nonetheless, it may be a problem in developing countries where the main food sources are grains or legumes.
Peanuts are one of the most common food allergens
Allergy to peanuts is estimated to affect approximately 1% of Americans. Peanuts allergies are potentially life-threatening, and peanuts are sometimes considered the most severe allergen.
People with this allergy should avoid all peanuts and peanut products.
There are several downsides to peanuts, including potential aflatoxin contamination, phytic acid content, and severe allergic reactions.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Peanuts are as popular as they are healthy. They’re an excellent plant-based source of protein and high in various vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds.
They can be useful as a part of a weight loss diet and may reduce your risk of both heart disease and gallstones.
However, being high in fat, this legume is a high-calorie food and should not be eaten in excess.
The lentil (Lens culinaris or Lens esculenta) is an edible legume. It is an annual plant known for its lens-shaped seeds. It is about 40 cm (16 in) tall, and seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each. As a food crop, the majority of world production come from Canada and India, producing 58% combined of the world total.
In cuisine of the Indians subcontinent where lentils are a staple, split lentils (often with their hulls removed) known as daal are often cooked into a thick curry/gravy that is usually eaten with rice or rotis.
Brown, green, yellow, red or black – lentils are low in calories, rich in iron and folate and an excellent source of protein. They pack health-promoting polyphenols and may reduce several heart disease risk factors. They’re easily cooked in 5 – 20 minutes, which – like soaking – reduces their antinutrient content.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF LENTILS
Lentils are often categorized by their color, which can range from yellow and red to green, brown or black.
Here are some of the most common lentil types:
● Brown: These are the most widely eaten type. They have an earthy flavor, hold their shape well during cooking and great in stews.
● Puy: These can vary in size and are usually a cheaper alternative to puy lentils in recipes.
● Yellow and red: These lentils are split and cook quickly. They’re great for making dal and have a somewhat sweet and nutty flavor.
● Beluga: These are tiny black lentils that look almost like caviar. They make a great base for warm salads.
Each lentil type has its own unique composition of antioxidants and phytochemicals.
There are many different varieties of lentils, but brown, green, yellow and red, as well as Puy and Beluga are the most widely consumed.
Lentils are often overcooked, even though they’re an inexpensive way of getting a wide range of nutrients. They’re packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium.
Lentils are made up of over 25% protein, which makes them an excellent meat alternative. They’re also a great source of iron, mineral that is sometimes lacking in vegetarian diets.
Though different types of lentils may vary slightly in their nutrient contents, one cup (198 grams) or cooked lentils generally provides about:
●Carbs: 39.9 grams
●Protein: 17.9 grams
●Fat: 0.8 grams
● Fiber: 15.6 grams
●Thiamine: 22% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
●Niacin: 10% of the RDI
●Vitamin B6: 18% of the RDI
●Folate: 90% of the RDI
●Pantothenic acid: 13% of the RDI
●Iron: 37% of the RDI
●Magnesium: 18% of the RDI
●Phosphorus: 36% of the RDI
●Potassium: 21% of the RDI
●Zinc: 17% of the RDI
●Copper: 25% of the RDI
●Manganese: 49% of the RDI
Lentils are high in fiber, which supports regular bowel movements and the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Eating lentils can increase your stool weight and improve your overall gut function.
Furthermore, lentils contains a broad range of beneficial plant compounds called phytochemicals, many of which protect against chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein and fiber.
POLYPHENOL IN LENTILS MAY HAVE POWERFUL HEALTH BENEFITS
Lentils are rich in polyphenols. These are a category of health-promoting phytochemicals. Some of the polyphenols in lentils, such as procyanidin and flavanols, are known to have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.
One test-tube study found that lentils were able to inhibit the production of the inflammation-promoting molecule cyclooxygenase-2.
In addition, when tested in the lab, the polyphenols in lentils were able to stop cancer cell growth, especially on cancerous skin cells. The polyphenols in lentils may also play a part in improving blood sugar levels.
One animal study found that consuming lentils helped lower blood sugar levels and that the benefits were not solely due to the carb, protein or fat content. Though it’s not yet understood how, polyphenols may improve blood sugar levels.
It’s also worth noting that the polyphenols in lentils don’t appear to lose their health-promoting properties after cooking.
This being said, these results are from laboratory and animal studies only. Human studies are needed before firm conclusions can be made on these health benefits.
Lentils are a great source of health-promoting polyphenols, which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties with potential cancer-cell inhibiting effects.
■ MAY PROTECT YOUR HEART
Eating lentils is associated with an overall lower risk of heart disease, as it has positive effects on several risk factors.
One 8-week study in 48 overweight or obese people with type 2 diabetes found that eating a one-third cup (60 grams) of lentils each day increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and significantly reduced levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Lentils may also help lower your blood pressure. A study in rats revealed that those eating lentils had greater reduction in blood pressure levels compared to those given either peas, chickpeas or beans.
Furthermore, proteins in lentils may be able to block the substance angiotensin l-converting enzyme (ACE), which normally triggers blood vessel constrictionand thereby increases your blood pressure.
High levels of homocysteine is another risk factor for heart disease. These can increase when your dietary folate intake is insufficient.
As lentils are great source of folate, it’s believed that they may help prevent excess homocysteine from accumulating in your body.
Finally, being overweight or obese increases your risk of heart disease, but eating lentils may help lower your overall food intake. They’re very filling and appear to keep your blood sugar levels steady.
Lentils may protect your heart by supporting weight loss, preventing homocysteine accumulation in your body and improving cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
ANTINUTRIENTS MAY IMPAIR NUTRIENTS ABSORPTION
Lentils contain antinutrients which can affect the absorption of other nutrients.
Lentils contain trypsin inhibitors, which block the production of the enzyme that normally helps break down protein from your diet.
However, lentils generally contain low amounts of these, and it’s unlikely that trypsin from lentils will have a major effect on your protein digestion.
Lectins can resist digestion and bind to other nutrients, preventing their absorption. Furthermore, lectins can bind to carbs on the gut wall. If they’re consumed in excess, they may disturb the gut barrier and increase intestinal permeability, a condition also known as leaky gut.
It’s speculated that too many lectins in the diet may increase the risk of developing an autoimmune condition, but the evidence to support this limited.
That being said, lectins may possess anticancer and antibacterial properties. If you’re trying to minimize the number of lectins in your diet, try soaking lentils overnight and discard the water before cooking.
Lentils contain tannins which can bind to proteins. This can bind to proteins. This can prevent the absorption of certain nutrients.
In particular, there are concerns that tannins may impair iron absorption. However, research indicates that iron levels are generally not impacted by dietary tannins intake.
On the other hand, tannins are high in health-promoting antioxidants
Physical acids or phytates are able to bind minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium, reducing their absorption. However, phytic acid is also reported to have strong antioxidant and anticancer properties.
Though lentils, like all legumes, contain some antinutrients, it’s important to note that dehulling and cooking the seeds greatly reduces their presence.
Lentils contain antinutrients such as trypsin inhibitors and phytic acid, which reduce the absorption of some nutrients. Soaking and cooking lentils will minimize these, but regardless, you will still absorb the majority of your nutrients.
Lentils are easy to cook, with split lentils only taking about 5 minutes and other varieties around 20 minutes to prepare. Plus, unlike other legumes, you don’t need to soak them first.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Brown, green, yellow, red or black – lentils are low in calories, rich in iron and folate and an excellent source of protein.
They’re easily cooked in 5 – 20 minutes, which – like soaking – reduces their antinutrients content.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. It is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.
It is highly aromatic and flavorful herb used in cookery and, along with the similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Florence fennel or finocchio, Italian: is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.
Fennel is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including in its native range the mouse moth and the Old-world swallowtail. Where it has been introduced in North America it may be used by the aniseswallowtail.
Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet, adding a refreshing contribution to the ever popular Mediterranean cuisine. Most often associated with Italian cooking, be sure to add this to your selection of fresh vegetables from the autumn through early spring when it is readily available and its best.
Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce Fenner seeds. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots 🥕dill and coriander.
This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Fennel provides for each of the nutrients of which it is good, very good or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by fennel cab be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for fennel, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF FENNEL
■ FENNEL CONTAINS UNIQUE PHYTONUTRIENTS WITH ANTIOXIDANTS AND HEALTH-PROMOTING EFFECTS.
Like many of its fellow species, fennel contains its own unique combination of phytonutrients – including the flavonoids, rutin, quercetin, and various kaempferol glycosides – that give it strong antioxidant activity. The phytonutrients in fennel extracts compare favorably in research studies to BHT (butylated hydroxytoluence), a potentially toxic antioxidant commonly added to processed foods.
The most fascinating phytonutrient compound in fennel, however, may be a anethole – the primary component of its volatile oil. In animal studies, the anethole in fennel has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer.
Researchers have also proposed a biological mechanism that may explain these anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. This mechanism involves the shutting down of a intercellular signaling system called tumor necrosis factor (or TNF) – mediated signaling. By shutting down this signaling process, the anethole in fennel prevents activation of a potentially strong gene-altering and inflammation-triggering molecule called NF-kappaB. The volatile oil has also been shown to be able to protect the liver of experimental animals from toxic chemical injury.
■ ANTIOXIDANT PROTECTION AND IMMUNE SUPPORT FROM VITAMIN C IN FENNEL
In addition to its unusual phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, able to neutralize free radicals in all aqueous environments of the body. In left unchecked, these free radicals cause cellular damage that results in pain and joint deterioration that occurs in conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The vitamin C found in fennel bulb is directly antimicrobial and is also needed for the proper function of the immune system.
■ FIBER, FOLATE AND POTASSIUM IN FENNEL FOR CARDIOVASCULAR AND COLON HEALTH
As a very good source of fiber, fennel bulb may help reduce elevated cholesterol levels. And since fiber also removes potentially carcinogenic toxins from the colon, fennel bulb may also be useful in preventing colon cancer.
In addition to its fiber, fennel is a very good source of folate, a B vitamin that is necessary for the conversion of a dangerous molecule called homocysteine into other, benign molecules. At high levels, homocysteine, which can directly damage blood vessel walls, is considered a significant risk factor for heart attack or stroke. Fennel is also a very good source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower high blood pressure, another risk factor for stroke and heart attack.
NUTRITIONAL PROFILE OF FENNEL
Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also a very good of dietary fiber, potassium, molybdenum, manganese, copper, phosphorus and folate. In addition, fennel is a good source of calcium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, iron and niacin.
The soybean or soya bean (Glycine max) is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses.
Soy beans contain significant amounts of phytic acid, dietary minerals and B vitamins. Soy vegetable oil, used in food and industrial applications, is another product of processing the soybean crop. Soybean is the most important protein source for feed farm animals (that in turn yields animal protein for human consumption.
They are an important component of Asian diets and have been consumed for thousands of years. Today, they are mainly grown in Asia and South and North America.
In Asia, soybeans are often eaten whole, but heavily processed soy products are much more common in Western countries. Various soy products are available, including soy flour, soy protein tofu soy milk, soy sauce, and soybean oil
Soybeans contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that are linked to various health benefits. However, concerns have been raised about potential adverse effects.
Soybeans or soya bean is a species of legumes that has become one of the most widely consumed foods in the world for its many health benefits, soybean are native to East Asia and are highly grown in India as well. People who follow a strict vegetarian diet often used Soybean to replace meat for protein. Along with having a high protein content, soybeans are also rich is saturated fats, fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytoestrogens, among other essential nutrients required by the body.
In recent times, soybeans have grown to popularity due to their derivatives such as tofu, soy milk, and textured vegetable protein. This variety of soy products has created a new massive market altogether, primarily benefiting the vegan population. Foods containing soy have also been shown to have several health benefits.
The health benefits of soybeans for menopausal women include lowered risk of osteoporosis, protection from coronary heart disease, and fewer hot flushes. According to experts, including soybeans in your daily diet can help you maintain a healthy body as well as overall well-being.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF SOYBEANS
Soybean has been part of the traditional Indian diets for centuries. That are linked to numerous health benefits. And don’t forget the protein content, which is in abundance.
■ HELPS RELIEVE SLEEP DISORDERS
One of the primary benefits of soybean is that not many know that soybean can help relieve the symptoms of sleep disorder. According to health professionals, soybeans can help in reducing the occurrence of insomnia along with other sleeping disorders. Since soybeans contains magnesium in high amounts, which is linked to increasing the quality, restfullnes, and duration of your sleep, it would be beneficial that you add it in your daily diet.
■ SOYBEAN MAY HELP MANAGE DIABETES
Eating soybean is an effective way to manage and prevent diabetes. According to several studies, soybean has the ability to increase the insulin receptors in the body. As a result, it can prevent diabetes from occurring in the first place or can help manage the disease effectively if you are already suffering from it. Furthermore, the carbohydrates content in soybean is incredibly low, which makes it an excellent anti-diabetic food.
Eating soybean will keep your blood sugar levels in check and will make sure that doesn’t spike thanks to soy isoflavones.
Although the mechanism of how it works is still unknown, scientists say that soy isoflavones help improve insulin sensitivity, allowing the cells to absorb more glucose and respond more to insulin.
■ HELP IMPROVE BLOOD CIRCULATION
As per the Journal of the American Dietetics Association, iron and copper are two essential minerals that are found in abundance in soybean. Both components are vital for the production of red blood cells (RBCs).
According to health experts, with an appropriate amount of red blood cells in the body, the essential organ system, including the extremities of the body, can get proper oxygen and blood flow they need to function efficiently. With the increase in red blood cells, your body experiences a maximized metabolic activity.
■ ESSENTIAL FOR PREGNANCY
Soybean is rich in folic acid and vitamin B complex that is very essential for pregnant women. Pregnant women are told to consume soy-based organic products as folic acid in soybean helps in the prevention of neutral tube defects in infants, ensuring a healthy delivery as well as a healthy baby. Birth defects are normal if the mother-to-be doesn’t take care of the nutrition requirements.
Therefore, it is important to consult with your concerned gynecologist and pen down the list of things to eat during pregnancy. Nutrition is not only important to the infant but the mother as well.
■ SOYBEAN FOR HEALTHY BONES
Soybeans have high mineral and vitamin content. The impressive levels of zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium, and calcium in soybean help in keeping the bones stronger and healthy. All these elements in soy can help in promoting the ostiotropic activity, allowing the new bone to grow, making the existing ones stronger, and speed up the bone healing process.
Doctors and health experts believe that eating soybean can be a long-term solution for treating problems like osteoporosis, which is a common condition affecting the old age. With that said, you must include soybean in your daily diet to ensure your bones are strong and can evade any diseases
■ AIDS HEALTHY DIGESTION
Dietary fiber is present in soybean in high quantities. Dietary fiber is essential for total body functioning and plays a vital role in the digestive system. Fiber helps in bulking up your stool, allowing it to move through the intestine smoothly and exit the body. Fiber helps in stimulating the peristaltic motion in the body, which is the contraction of the muscle in the digestive system that push food through the system.
People suffering from constipation are recommended to consume fiber-rich foods as it helps proper bowel movements. Constipation, if not looked into, can lead to some serious conditions like bleeding, pain while clearing the bowel, and even colorectal cancer. Soybean is a fiber-rich food source that also contains oligosaccharides, a carbohydrate that is known to stimulate the growth of healthy gut bacteria, acting as a prebiotic.
■ RELIEVE MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS
Soybean contains isoflavones in abundance, which is a vital component of the female reproductive system. When women reach menopause, they experience a drastic drop in estrogen levels.
This can lead to several menopausal symptoms like hot flushes, abdominal cramps, hunger pains, mood swings, etc. Isoflavones bind the estrogen receptors in a way that your body doesn’t feel the change. Including soybean in your daily diet can help in relieving menopausal symptoms.
■ IMPROVES HEART HEALTH
Soybeans are a good source of healthy unsaturated fats (with 2 grams MUFA and 5.06 grams PUFA) that can help you lower your cholesterol in the body. People suffering from high LDL cholesterol are prone to experiencing conditions like coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis. These conditions have a bad repo as they can lead to stroke and heart attack.
According to health experts, there are certain fatty acids necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system. Two of those are found in soybean called linolenic acid and linoleic acid, popularly known as omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids boost anti-inflammatory effects and play a crucial role in brain and eye health. Consuming soybean can help boost your cardiovascular system by reducing the bad cholesterol levels along with taking care of your brain and vision.
The chickpea or chick pea (Cicer arietinum) ia an annual legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. Its different types are variously known as gram or Bengal gram, garbanzo or garbanzo bean, Egyptian pea. Chickpea seeds are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes, 7500-year-old remains have been found in the Middle East.
Two varieties of chickpea the larger light tan kabuki and variously coloured Desi chickpea. They are green when picked early and vary through tan and beige, speckled, dark brown to black. 75% of world production is of the smaller desi type. The larger garbanzo bean or hummus was introduced into India in the 18th century.
Chickpea is a key ingredient in hummus and chana masala, and it can be ground into flour to make falafel. It is also used in salad, soups and stew, curry and other meal products like channa. The chickpea is important in Indian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. In 2018, India accounted for 66% of global chickpea production.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are part of the legume family.
Their nutty taste and grainy texture pairs well with several other foods and ingredients.
As a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, chickpeas may offer a variety of health benefits, such as improving digestion, aiding weight management and reducing the risk of several diseases.
Additionally, chickpeas are high in protein and make an excellent replacement for meat in vegetarian and vegan diets.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHICKPEAS
■ PACKED WITH NUTRIENTS
Chickpeas have an impressive nutrition profile.
They contain a moderate amount of calories, providing 46 calories per 1-ounce (28 grams) serving. Approximately 67% of those calories are from carbs, while the rest comes from protein and a small amount of fat.
Chickpeas also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as a decent amount of fiber and protein.
Chickpeas contains a moderate amount of calories and several vitamins and minerals. They’re also a good source of fiber and protein
■ MAY HELP KEEP YOUR APPETITE UNDER CONTROL
The protein and fiber in chickpeas may help keep your appetite under control.
Protein and fiber work synergistically to slow digestion, which helps promote fullness. In addition, Protein may increase levels of appetite reducing hormones in the body. In fact, the filling effects of the protein and fiber in chickpeas may automatically lower your calorie intake throughout the day and at meals.
One study compared appetite and calorie intake among 12 women who consumed two separate meals. Before one of the meals, they ate one cup (200 grams) of chickpeas, and before the other, they ate two slices of white bread.
The women experienced a significant reduction in appetite and calorie intake after the chickpea meal, compared to the white bread meal.
Another study found that individuals who ate an average of 104 grams of chickpeas daily for 12 weeks reported feeling fuller and eating less junk food, compared to when they did not eat chickpeas.
More research is needed to confirm the role that chickpeas may have in appetite control. However, they are certainly worth adding to your diet if you want to experiment with their fullness promoting effects.
Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, which makes them a filling food that may help lower appetite and reduce calorie intake at meals.
■ RICH IN PLANT-BASED PROTEIN
Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein, making them an appropriate food choice for those who do not eat animal products.
A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving provides about 3 grams of protein, which is comparable to the protein content in similar foods like black beans and lentils.
The protein in chickpeas may help promote fullness and keep your appetite under control. Protein is also known for its role in weight control, bone health and maintaining muscle strength.
Some studies have suggested that the quality of the protein in chickpeas is better than that of other types of legume. That’s because chickpeas contains almost all the essentials amino acid, except for methionine.
For this reason, they are not a complete source of protein. To make sure you get all the amino acids in your diet, it’s important to pair chickpeas with another protein source, such as whole grains, to make up for the deficit.
Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein, which has a variety of health benefits, ranging from weight management to bone health. They are a great choice for individuals who avoid animal products.
■ MAY HELP YOU MANAGE YOUR WEIGHT
Chickpeas have several properties that may help you control your weight.
First, chickpeas have a fairly low calorie density. This means they provide few calories relative to the amount of nutrients they contain.
People who eat lots of low-calorie foods are more likely to lose weight and maintain it than those who eat a lot of high-calorie foods.
Furthermore, the protein and fiber in chickpeas may promote weight management due to their appetite lowering effects and potential to help reduce calorie intake at meals.
In one study, those who ate chickpeas regularly were 53% less likely to be obese and had a lower body mass index and weight circumference, compared to those who did not eat chickpeas.
Additionally, another meta-analysis found that those who ate at least one serving of legumes, such as chickpeas, each day lost 25% more weight than those who did not eat legumes.
Although these finding are promising, more human studies are needed to establish the effects that chickpeas have on weight management. Regardless, they are an incredibly healthy food to include in your diet.
Chickpeas contains a moderate amount of calories and are high in fiber and protein and are high in fiber and protein , all properties that play a role in weight management.
■ SUPPORT BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL
Chickpeas have several properties that may help manage blood sugar levels.
First, they have a fairly low glycemic index(GI), which is a marker of how rapidly your blood sugar rises after eating a food. Diets including many low-GI foods have been shown to promote blood sugar management.
Second, chickpeas are a good source of fiber and protein, which are both known for their role in blood sugar regulation.
This is because fiber slows carb absorption, which promotes a steady rise in blood sugar levels, rather than a spike. Also eating protein–rich foods may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
In one study, 19 people who ate a meal that contained 200 grams of chickpeas had a a 21% reduction in blood sugar levels, compared to when they ate a meal that contained whole-grain cereal or white bread.
Another 12 weeks study found that 45 individuals who ate 728 grams of chickpeas per week had a notable reduction in their fasting insulin levels, which is an important factor in blood sugar control.
What’s more, several studies have associated chickpea consumption with a reduced risk of several diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. These effects are often attributed to their blood-sugar-lowering effects.
Chickpeas have a low GI and are also a great source of fiber and protein protein, all properties that support healthy blood sugar control.
■ MAY BENEFITS DIGESTION
Chickpeas are full of fiber, which has several proven benefits for digestion health.
The fiber in chickpeas is mostly soluble, meaning it blends with water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. Soluble fiber may help increase the number of healthy bacteria in your gut and prevent the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria. This can lead to reduced risk of some digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancer.
In one study, 42 people who ate 104 grams of chickpeas daily for 12 weeks reported improved bowel function, including more frequent bowel movements and softer stool consistency, compared to when they did not eat chickpeas.
If you want to improve your digestive health, including more chickpeas in your diet is certainly worth a try.
Chickpeas are high in fiber, which benefits your digestion by increasing the number of healthy bacteria in your gut and helping waste flow efficiently through your digestive tract.
■ MAY PROTECT AGAINST CERTAIN CHRONIC DISEASES
Chickpeas have several characteristics that may help reduce the risk of several chronic diseases.
● Heart Disease
Chickpeas are a great source of several minerals, such as magnesium and potassium, which have been studied for their potential to boost heart health.
This is because they may help prevent high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Additionally, the soluble fiber in chickpeas has been shown to help reduce triglyceride and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, which may increase heart disease risk when elevated.
In one 12 weeks study, 45 people who ate 728 grams of chickpeas per week significantly reduced their total cholesterol levels by an average of almost 16 mg/dL.
Including chickpeas in your diet on a regular basis may help reduce your risk of certain types of cancer.
First, eating chickpeas may promote the body’s production of butyrate, a fatty acid that has been studied for its potential to reduce inflammation in colon cells, possibly decreasing the risk of colon cancer.
Furthermore, chickpeas are a source of saponins, which are plant compounds that may help help prevent the development of certain cancers. Saponins have also been studied for their role in inhibiting tumor growth.
Chickpeas also contains several vitamins and minerals that may lower your risk of cancer, including B vitamins, which may be responsible for reducing the risk of breast and lung cancer.
Chickpeas have a few properties known to support blood sugar control, and thus may help prevent and manage diabetes.
The fiber and protein in chickpeas help prevent your blood sugar levels from rising too quickly after eating, which is an important factor in diabetes management.
Additionally, their low glycemic index (GI) makes them appropriate for those with diabetes, as they are unlikely to lead to blood sugar strikes.
They’re also a source of several vitamins and minerals that have been found to reduce the risk of typ 2 diabetes, including magnesium, B vitamins and zinc.
Chickpeas have many characteristics that may help prevent some chronic illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Celery (Apium graveolens) is a marshland plant in the family Apiaceae that has been cultivated as a vegetable since antiquity. Celery has long fibrous stalk tapering into leaves.
Depending on location and cultivar, either its stalks, leaves or hypocotyl are eaten and used in cooking. Celery seed is also used as a spice and its extracts have been used in herbal medicine.
At just 10 calories stalk, celery’s claim to fame may be that it’s long been considered a low-calorie “diet food.”
But crispy, crunchy celery actually has a number of health benefits that many surprise you. Here are five you should consider adding celery to your diet, plus a few recipes to make it easy.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CELERY
■ CELERY IS A GREAT SOURCE OF IMPORTANT ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants protect cells, blood vessels, and organ from oxidative damage.
Celery contains vitamin C, beta carotene, and flavonoids, but there are at least 12 additional kinds of antioxidant nutrients found in a single stalk. It’s also a wonderful source of phytonutrients, which have been shown to reduce instances of inflammation in the digestive tract, cells, blood vessels, and organs.
■ CELERY REDUCES INFLAMMATION
Chronic inflammation has been linked to many illnesses, including arthritis and osteoporosis. Celery and celery seeds have approximately 25 anti-inflammatory compounds that can offer protection against inflammation in the body.
■ CELERY SUPPORTS DIGESTION
While its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients offer protection to the entire digestive tract, celery may offer special benefits to the stomach.
Pectin-based polysaccharides in celery including a compound known as apiuman, have been shown to decrease instances of stomach ulcers, improve the lining of the stomach secretions in animal studies.
And then there’s the high water content of celery – almost 95 percent – plus generous amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. All of those support a healthy digestive tract and keep sticks has 5 grams of dietary fiber
■ CELERY IS RICH IN VITAMINS AND MINERALS WITH A LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX
You’ll enjoy vitamins A, K, and C, plus minerals like potassium and folate when you eat celery. Its also low in sodium. Plus, its low on the glycerin index, meaning it has a slow, steady effect on your blood sugar.
■ CELERY HAS AN ALKALIZING EFFECTS
With minerals like magnesium, iron, and sodium, celery can have a neutralizing effect on acidic foods – not to mention the fact that these essential bodily functions.
Cabbage (comprising several cultivars of Brassica oleracea) is a leafy green, red (purple), or white (pale green) biennial plant grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads. It is descended from the wild cabbage (B. oleracea var. oleracea), and belongs to the “Cole crops” or Brassicas, meaning it is closely related to broccoli and cauliflower (var. botrytis); Brussels sprouts (var. gemmifera); and savory cabbage (var. sabaula).
Species Brassica oleracea
Cultivar group Capitata Group
Origin Europe, prior to 1000 BC
Cultivar group White cabbage, Red cabbage
Members Savoy cabbage
Cabbage weights generally range from 500 to 1,000 grams (1 to 2 lb). Smooth-leafed, firm-headed green cabbages and crinkled-leafed savoy cabbages of both colors being more rare. Under conditions of long sunny days, such as those found at high northern latitudes in summer, cabbages can grow quite large. As of 2012, the heaviest cabbage was was 62.71 kilograms (138.25 lb). Cabbage heads are generally picked during the first year of the plant’s life cycle, but plants intended for seed are allowed to grow a second year and must be kept separate from other cole crops to prevent cross-pollination. Cabbage is prone to several nutrient deficiencies, as well as to multiple pests, and bacterial and fungal diseases.
Cabbage was most likely domesticated somewhere in Europe before 1000 BC, although savoys were not developed until the 16th century AD. By the middle Ages, cabbage had become a prominent part of European cuisine. They can be prepared many different ways for eating; they can pickled, fermented (for dishes such as sauerkraut), steamed, stewed, sauteed, braised, or eaten raw. Cabbage is a good source of vitamin K vitamin C and dietary fiber. World production of cabbage and other Brassica for 2017 was 71 million tonnes, with China accounting for 47% of the world total.
Cabbage juice is loaded with nutrients, such as vitamins C and K, and drinking it is linked to many purported benefits, including weight loss, improved gut health, decreased inflammation balanced hormones, and body detoxification.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRINKING CABBAGE JUICE
While a lot research supports the health benefits of whole vegetables like cabbage, few studies have investigated the effects of consuming vegetables in juice form.
Some research suggests that there are benefits to drinking cabbage juice. Still, most studies have been conducted in animals, additional research is needed, specially in humans.
■ HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS
Cabbage juice is high in antioxidants, which are substances that help reduce cell damage caused by free radicals. An accumulation of free radicals in your body may lead to inflammation and disease.
Cabbage is particularly high in vitamin C, a nutrient that plays many important roles in your body. Vitamin C supports immune health and also acts as a powerful antioxidant.
Red cabbage is packed with anthocyanins. These plant pigments give red cabbage its reddish-purple color and have powerful antioxidants properties. Anthocyanins-rich diets offer many benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease.
Additionally, some antioxidants found in cabbage juice may have anticancer properties. A test-tube study found that cabbage juice induced cell death in human breast cancer cells. This effect was attributed to the concentration of antioxidants called indoles in the juice.
■ CAN HELP COMBAT INFLAMMATION
Cabbage juice contains many compounds that may help combat inflammation.
Although short-term inflammation is a positive response to acute stress, long-term inflammation can be harmful and lead to illness. Thus, it’s important to limit long-term inflammation as much as possible.
Cabbage contains many anti-inflammatory compounds. These include sulforaphane, a sulfur compound found in many Brassica vegetables, and kaempferol, a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects.
One test-tube study showed that red cabbage juice had anti-inflammatory effects in spleen cells.
Another study looked at the anti-inflammatory effects of cabbage juice extract on skin health. In a group of mice with contract dermatitis, an inflammatory skin condition, topically applied cabbage extract ointment significantly reduced inflammation.
■ MAY BENEFIT GUT HEALTH
Drinking cabbage juice may help prevent and treat stomach ulcers.
In fact, cabbage juice has been used as a traditional remedy for stomach ulcers, with some dated research suggesting that it may be an effective treatment.
Although current human research is limited, recent animal studies have shown that cabbage juice may help heal stomach ulcers.
A study in rats found that cabbage extract significantly improved the healing of stomach ulcers and inhibited ulcer formation.
However, current human research of the effects of cabbage juice on stomach ulcers is limited.
Fermented versions of cabbage juice may also benefit gut health. The juice that results from making sauerkraut, a type of fermented cabbage, is high in lactic acid bacteria. These probiotics are acknowledged for their gut health benefits.
Other potential health benefits of drinking cabbage juice include the following:
● Potential anticancer effects.
Cabbage juice may help protect against certain cancers. In fact, consuming 5 or more serving of cruciferous vegetables weekly is linked to a 33% reduced risk of lymphoma in women.
● May benefits heart health. In one study, people who consumed juice containing cabbage had lower cholesterol than the control group. Other studies link the intake of cruciferous vegetables to a reduced risk of heart disease.
● May help you absorb certain nutrients. Cabbage contains beta-carotene, a precursors to vitamin A. Studies show drinking its juice results in better absorption of beta carotene, compared with eating whole Cabbage.
● Can be more convenient than raw cabbage. Due to the difference in volume, it’s easier to consume a lot of cabbage in juice form, compared with eating it raw. Plus, juices are simple to take on the go.
Cabbage juice may offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and gut-health-promoting properties. However, more research is needed to further understand it’s health benefits.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS
Although drinking cabbage juice likely offers several benefits, there are some potential drawbacks to consider.
HIGH AMOUNTS MAY AFFECT THE THYROID
Some evidence suggests that consuming cabbage in high amounts may affect your thyroid.
Substances called goitrogens in cabbage can inhibit iodine transport to the thyroid, a process necessary for normal thyroid functions.
In fact, a few studies have noted a correlation between cruciferous vegetables intake and the risk of thyroid cancer, although the results were somewhat inconclusive.
Furthermore, goitrogens are found in higher amounts in raw cabbage, so those with thyroid conditions, such as hypothyroidism, may choose to avoid consuming cabbage juice.
However, a significant amount of research on cruciferous vegetables and disease prevention suggests that the benefits may outweigh the potential risk.
CERTAIN NUTRIENTS CAN INTERACT WITH MEDICATION
Some nutrients in cabbage juice have been shown to interact with certain medications.
Cabbage is high in vitamin K, which can affect the ability of blood thinners like warfarin to prevent blood clot. It’s typically advised to maintain a consistent vitamin K intake while on the medication.
If you are taking a blood thinner, it may be best to avoid adding cabbage juice to your diet. However, if you decide otherwise, consult your Healthcare provider before adding it to your regimen.
The Zucchini or courgette (Cucurbita pepo) is a summer squash, or Mesoamerican origin, which can reach nearly 1 metre (40 inches) in length, but is usually harvested when still immature at about 15 to 25 cm (6 to 10 in), A zucchini is a thin-skinned cultivar of what in Britain and Ireland is referred to as a marrow. In South Africa, zucchini is known as baby marrow.
A striped and a uniform-color zucchini
Species Cucurbita pepo
Origin 19th-century Northern Italy
Along with certain other squashes and pumpkins, the zucchini belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo. It can be dark or light green. A related hybrid, the Golden zucchini, is a deep yellow or orange color.
In a culinary context, the zucchini is treated as a vegetable; it is usually cooked and presented as a savory dish or accompaniment. Botanically, zucchinis are fruits, a type of botanical berry called a “pepo,” being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower.
The zucchini, like all squash, originates in the Americas, specifically Mesoamerica. Its original name in Mexican language or Nahuati is ayokonetl, also with the variants ayo or ayocotzin (plural, ayococone). After this, the concept and use of zucchini was developed in Northern Italy in the second half of the 19th century, long after the introduction of Cucurbits from the Americas in the early 16th century.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ZUCCHINI
■ ZUCCHINI BENEFITS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Zucchini is a low-starch fruit. Which meant it is low in carbohydrates and high in fiber. Which means it will fill you up and discourage overeating. That’s precisely what most people looking to lose weight want, right.
The fruit also has a high water content that can keep you full for longer periods. It is one of those foods with a low glycemix index. Increased intake of fruits and vegetables and low-fat foods has been linked to healthy weight loss and weight maintenance. Another benefit of high-fiber foods is they require more chewing- because of which the individual takes more time to eat and is unable to gorge on a large number of calories in a short period.
■ IMPROVES HEART HEALTH
Ever heard of DASH diet? Also called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, this diet is aimed at improving heart health by lowering Hypertension. According to a report published by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, zucchini is a prominent part of the DASH diet.
Zucchini is low in cholesterol, sodium, and fat, and helps maintain a balance of Carbohydrates – a requirement for optimum heart health.
Another reason zucchini works great for the heart is the presence of fiber. High intakes of fiber have been associated with significantly lower risk of developing stroke, hypertension, and heart disease.
Zucchini is also rich in folate, and as per a Chinese study, folate intake is inversely associated with heart disease risk. The fact that it is rich in other nutrients like potassium and magnesium makes Zucchini a superfood for the heart. Research has stated that deficiencies in the two nutrients can be directly linked to heart failure.
Another nutrient in zucchini that is worth you attention is riboflavin, which is a B-complex vitamin essential for energy production. In one study, children with cardiac disease were found to be shockingly deficient in riboflavin, emphasizing on the possible link between riboflavin and heart health. Another Chinese study has linked riboflavin with alleviated cardiac failure in diabetics.
Riboflavin deficiency is also linked to certain birth defects in pregnant women, especially issues with the outflow tracts in the infant’s heart.
■ IMPROVES EYE HEALTH
One doesn’t need to be reminded of the importance of vision. That said, zucchini seems to be more than food for your eyes. The fruit is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that were found to prevent age-related macular degeneration.
It is shocking to note that certain serious (and often irreversible) eye diseases like glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration have no warning signs. Zucchini is also a good source of vitamin A that has shown to improve eye health. It is important for eye development and maintenance. As per a report published by Flaum Eye Institute of the University of Rochester Medical Center, a low-fat diet could be beneficial for the eyes – and zucchini can very well be a part of this diet.
The squash is also a wonderful source of beta-carotene that can improve eye health and offer protection against infections.
■ HELP CONTROL DIABETES
It is but unfortunate that a household without a diabetic is a rare scene. Well, that’s the sad part. So, is zucchini good for diabetics? Yes, the good part is, zucchini can help.
Non-starchy foods like zucchini can fill you up and aid diabetes treatment. And the dietary fiber, which zucchini is replete with, can delay glucose absorption and help the patients with type 2 diabetes. A German study states that insoluble fiber (which zucchini has a good amount of) can be very much effective in preventing type 2 diabetes. Another study indicates the efficacy of insoluble dietary fiber that has shown to reduce diabetes risk.
Higher fiber intake is also associated with a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, which is one of the factors contributing to diabetes. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, soluble fiber can improve glucose tolerance in diabetics. (Zucchini contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, by the way.)
■ HELPS LOWER CHOLESTEROL
Zucchini is one of the few foods that are free of cholesterol, and hence you can include it in your cholesterol-lowering diet. Soluble fiber has been found to interfere with cholesterol absorption. This helps lower the bad cholesterol or LDL in the blood.
■ HELPS CURE ASTHMA
As per an Iranian study, the high levels of vitamin C in zucchini help cure asthma. The anti-inflammatory properties of zucchini also continue to asthma treatment.
Along with the vitamin C, zucchini also contains copper that is far more effective in treating asthma.
One Finnish study has found the benefits of vitamin C in treating not only asthma attacks, but also bronchial hypersensitivity (which is a characteristic of asthma). As it is well known that vitamin C helps treat common cold symptoms, it is quite logical to use vitamin C for alleviating asthma symptoms.
■ PROTECTS AGAINST COLON CANCER
The fiber in zucchini is the most important reason it can help in the treatment of colon cancer. The fiber does multiple things – it absorb the excess water in the colon, retains enough moisture in the fecal matter, and helps it to pass smoothly out of the body. Because of all this fiber works beautifully well in preventing colon cancer. Though precise knowledge about the subtypes of fiber (soluble or insoluble) in this aspect is important, dietary fiber as a whole has been linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
As per a Los Angeles study, dietary fiber plays an important role in regulating the normal intestinal functioning and maintaining a healthy mucus membrane of the intestine. Though the exact amount of fiber and the type is still not clearly known, an expert panel from the study had recommended a fiber intake of 20 to 35 grams per day to prevent colon cancer.
The lutein in zucchini may also reduce the risk of colon cancer.
■ ENHANCES DIGESTION
In addition to the many benefits of zucchini you have already seen, the wonder squash also aid digestion. According to a report published by the University of Rhode Island, green fruits and vegetables, like zucchini, promote healthy digestion. You can have zucchini as an after-meal eat -simply shred some carrots and zucchini on a quick bread or muffins and relish the taste (and the benefits too!).
In fact, the late Henry Bieler (a prominent American physician who had batted for the idea of treating disease with foods alone) used to treat digestive issues in his patients with a pureed soup broth made from zucchini. Now, isn’t that a reason good enough to entrust the digestive-healing responsibilities to our humble zucchini.
The dietary fiber in zucchini adds bulk to your diet and aids digestion. However, ensure you introduce fiber in your diet gradually. Increasing dietary fiber in your diet too quickly can lead to bloating, abdominal cramps, and even gas.
It has been found that dietary fiber forms the major component of foods that have low energy value, and hence are of particular importance. Especially when it comes to dealing with abdominal issues.
If you are suffering from digestive issues, simply including zucchini in your meal might do the trick. It has been found that the addition of fiber in bread, cookies, breakfast cereal, and even meat products was found to have desirable results.
As we have already seen, zucchini contains both soluble as well as insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber, also known as the regulator, accelerates the passage of watee through the digestive tract. This reduces the time available for harmful substances to come in contact with the intestinal walls.
I would recommend you to go for all natural sources of fiber, and not just zucchini alone. If you are purchasing fiber-rich foods from the supermarket, there is but one ground rule – a good source of fiber is one that has at least 2.5 grams of fiber per serving are excellent. But, anything lower than 2.5 grams would just be a waste of money.
■ LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
Zucchini, being rich in potassium, is one of the most preferred foods to combat hypertension. Surprisingly enough, zucchini has more potassium than a Banana.
Potassium is vasoactive, meaning it can affect the diameter of blood vessels. And hence, the blood pressure as well. In a London study, potassium supplementation was linked to lowered blood pressure levels. Though the study talks about certain conflicting results in pertinent to oral potassium supplementation, potassium was never shown to elevate the blood pressure levels. Hence, it can be used without apprehension.
As per another New Orleans study, potassium intake is mandatory to combat hypertension, especially when the individual is unable to reduce his/her sodium intake. In addition to controlling blood pressure, potassium also lowers the heart rate and counters the harmful effects of sodium.
According to the National Academies Press, the adequate intake of potassium for adults is 4.7 grams per day. As per WHO, this dosage of potassium had the greatest impact on blood pressure levels. However, this dosage might vary as per the health condition of an individual. Hence, consult your doctor for further details.
Potassium so important with respect to lowering blood pressure? Because the nutrient is one of the principal electrolytes in the human body. It is required in proper balance with sodium. In a ratio of 2:1. The junk foods we so very lovingly consume every other day have higher levels of sodium than potassium. With is why they contribute to high blood pressure like no other. Zucchini is a good source of of potassium. A medium-sized fruit offer 512 milligrams of the nutrient, which roughly equals 11% of your daily need.
■ SLOWS DOWN AGING
Anti-aging is a big market today. No less than a billion dollar industry. But you probably wouldn’t have to contribute much to that segment if you have zucchini in your kitchen.
Zucchini is a good source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These two carotenoids exhibit powerful anti-aging properties. They protect the cells of the body and the skin from free radical damage, which may otherwise lead to premature aging. Lutein and zeaxanthin have also been found to lighten the skin and improve its health.
In a study, lutein was found to prevent cell loss and membrane damage. It also has photoprotective properties that protect the skin from UV damage. Zucchini is also rich in beta-carotene, the low levels of which were found to increase mortality risk in older men.
The riboflavin zucchini maintains the health of the skin, hair, nails, and mucus membranes. It slows down aging by boosting athletic performance and and preventing age-related memory loss and other related conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
In one study, riboflavin was found to prolong the lifespans of fruit flies – indicating a similar possibility in human beings.
Zucchini, as we have seen, is rich in vitamin C. According to a South Korean Stuy, the vitamin was found to decelerate aging in human heart cells. Also vitamin C is found in high levels in the skin layers, the content of which sees a decline due to aging. Hence, intake of vitamin C appears to be a logical solution to slow down the signs of aging.
■ STRENGTHENS BONES AND TEETH
Green vegetables and fruits, like zucchini promote stronger bones and teeth. The lutein and zeaxanthin in zucchini keep the bones and teeth strong. In addition, they also strengthen the blood cells. Zucchini also contains vitamin K, which contributes to stronger bones.
Magnesium is another nutrient zucchini is rich in. Most of the body’s Magnesium resides in the bones, which helps build strong bones and teeth. Magnesium also works along with calcium to improve muscle contraction.
The folate in zucchini also protects the bones. And so does beta-carotene. Studies show that the body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which contributes to bone growth.
Zucchini contains phytochemicals such as indoles, which, according to Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, maintain strong bones and teeth. Similar findings have been published by the California Department of Public Health.
■ HELPS BALANCE THYROID AND ADRENALINE FUNCTION
Zucchini is rich in manganese, a mineral that promotes the optimal functioning of the thyroid gland.
■ HELPS DURING PREGNANCY
Dark green vegetables are a much during pregnancy, and zucchini is one of them. In the nine months of pregnancy, consuming zucchini offers adequate B-complex vitamins that help maintain the energy levels and mood.
Zucchini is rich in folic acid that has shown to reduce the risk of certain birth defects like spina bifida (the baby’s spinal cord doesn’t develop properly) and anencephaly (absence of a major portion of the brain). As per a Canadian study, over 50 countries that have fortified their food staples with folic acid saw a dramatic decrease in neural tube defects in pregnant women.
One more reason folate is beneficial to pregnant women is its ability to produce red blood cells in the body. This is how it reduces the risk of developmental problems in the baby during pregnancy.
It is important to keep in mind that folic acid (or folate) works best when taken before getting pregnant and during the first trimester. As women need additional folic acid during pregnancy, it is advisable to take a folic acid supplement as well. Around 400 mcg of folic acid per day is recommended for women in this aspect.
Another reason zucchini is good for pregnancy is its magnesium content. As per an Italian study, magnesium is very important for women with a high risk of gestosis or premature labor.
■ GOOD FOR BABIES (AND KIDS)
Diarrhea is one common problem amongst most kids over one year of age. Oh yes, there will be medications. But changes in the diet can also help. Bland foods work well in this case. And peeled zucchini can do wonders.
Mashed zucchini can also be a good addition to your baby’s diet. Since it is soft and bland in taste (and since it comes replete with nutrients), your baby will be able to consume it easily. And here’s a tip – Never leave a baby alone when he/she is eating. Keep the portions small. And avoid those foods that he/she can easily choke on – these include everything that is hard to chew.